Domesday Reloaded: When Mrs Thatcher came to tea

It was the year the Greater London Council was abolished and News International workers were embroiled in a year-long strike in Wapping.

It was also the year that the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher visited a primary school in Finchley, north London, as part of the BBC Domesday project.

Pupils at Tudor School had been busy logging information about their local area; the landscape, the history and amenities to store on a high tech disc in a UK-wide project involving one million people.

Steve Marshall was a teacher at the school and he has fond memories the project and the special visit.

"I do remember Margaret Thatcher's visit to the school because I was introduced to her and we walked into the hall where all the children were sat with all these computers ready to show off their work," he said.

"The area we were covering for the BBC Domesday project had Mrs Thatcher's constituency headquarters in it, which was why we invited her.

"Twenty-five years ago the idea [for the project] was remarkable. The technology we used was cutting edge and it was ahead of its time."

Kevin Surry was a pupil at the time.

"Being at the school was the happiest time of my life. I remember Margaret Thatcher coming - there's a good picture of my mum drinking tea with her," he recalled.

"She had it blown up and put it in the window of our council house at the next election, which didn't go down very well!"

Part of history

Over in east London's Whitechapel, 10-year-old Rezza Ali was asked to write about what his life was like with his family in the shadow of Tower Bridge.

"I have only a vague memory of being told to write something for a project - I don't remember much about it," he said.

Now aged 35 and living in Barking, Rezza came face to face with his 10-year-old self after being shown what he had written:

Image caption Pupils at Tudor School in Finchley got to show off their Domesday work to prime minister Margaret Thatcher

My name is Rezza Ali. I am 10-years-old. I live with my daddy and mummy, my 2 big brothers and a little brother. I go to Mosque at 5 o'clock and come home at 7 o'clock. Wednesday and Sundays we have Bangla lessons; my teacher is very pleased with me because I'm the top of my class. We get writing and reading books all free...

Rezza said: "It's a culture shock after 25 years. I can relate to a lot of stuff I wrote and it's brought back memories of growing up in the area. I remember we used to go out and watch the London Marathon as the runners went down The Highway.

"It was a carefree time, we just went out and played and rode our bikes. Not like today.

"I'm very proud of what I've written and that it's now part of history."

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